Who doesn’t like to receive gifts? Gift giving is so rewarding and such a great experience not only for the giver but for the receiver, too. When we were little kids, we used to be so possessive that the only joy we had was when we received a gift from someone. No matter how small, gifts make a child happy. Coming of age, though, we realize that there is joy in giving. And we start to make presents more often - commencing with our sibling’s birthdays, our parent’s anniversary, at Christmas, and so on until we enjoy making gifts for no reason whatsoever.
Now, you must be here because you’re looking for gift ideas as you approach the closing day for one of your clients. Why do real estate agents give gifts at closing? Because they want to make a good lasting impression. It is a common practice that has been building our businesses for years. Do you want to be memorable? How creative can you be when it comes to closing gifts for buyers? Below you may find ideas you’d never thought of before.
If the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about client gifts is a branded “something” with your face on it, then your gift is going to be a big fail. This is old-school marketing that will make your obvious advertisement end up in the trash. And you don’t want that! You should aim at becoming memorable but in a way that doesn’t feel aggressive or pushy. You want a gift that reminds them of you but in a gentle, subtle way. And you need a ton of creativity for that.
How can you stand out among other real estate agents? By being mindful from the first meeting. Don’t think only about the property and its features. Your clients matter, too. Show interest in them and try to find their hobbies, their favorite color, what they read, or the kind of music they like. At every showing you’re “on a date” with your clients so after the first meeting you should be able to add a few notes about them in your CRM system so that, if they end up purchasing that property, you can show up with a thoughtful gift that won’t be perceived as “spam” from the beginning. So clients are an endless source of unique gift ideas for REALTORS®.
Now, it is not your job to install smart home devices and alarms, but you can still be concerned about your client’s safety in their new home. One great gift idea is a fire extinguisher! Your clients can keep it under the kitchen sink to have it at hand just in case something catches fire in the kitchen. And it is known that about half of all house fires start in the kitchen. Fire extinguishers are great because they don’t expire - they are expected to last for about 15 years. Attach a tag to it with your business card and logo if you really want to brand it, or stick a larger label with your contact details and logo on it. You may pair the fire extinguisher with a first aid kit, as well.
But a new house should come with a new set of keys, don’t you think? If you are at the top of your game, then you’d hire a locksmith to replace the locks in the whole house or at least for the front door. The new owners must have the certainty that nobody else has the key to their house.
No matter how perfect the house is, most homeowners will always want to make some changes or improvements. From repairing or replacing the hall stand to adding home improvements for the visually impaired (especially if the buyers are 60 or older), small DIY projects seem to pop out of nowhere. So how to better surprise the new homeowners than with a gift card for Home Depot or Lowe’s? But every man will appreciate a toolbox, especially the red metal toolbox. You may even add a few tools in there, but no need to fill it. Again, stick a label with your contact details on one side, and every time it will be used, your “little advertisement” will be seen.
Commission a work of art for their home, especially if you’ve found that they’d like an accent wall with a mural. Invite a local mural painter and discuss together the details of the project. Or you may want to ask a local painter to paint the house and write your contact details on the back of the painting. The good part is that the painting will hang on the wall for a long time, and the owners will always remember you. If the painting is nice, some guests might even ask about it, and your name will be mentioned in conversations. And who knows who’s going to need a real estate agent in the future? Other artistic gifts could be sculptures, antique clocks with pendulum (if your clients are into antiquities), water fixtures - such as a water wall or Feng Shui fountain, as well as a beautiful quilt blanket.
Even though with our hectic schedules we find very little time for cooking, the kitchen is still one of the most important areas in a home. So, among the best new home gifts that any amateur cook will appreciate is a set of spices, especially the ones with some exotic spices from South East Asia or India. Because we usually use only a pinch of each strong spice, this is a gift that is going to last for a long time. You may put your logo and contact details on the lid of each jar as well. If you know what kind of food they like, you can also buy a cookbook with a stand and instead of having it signed by the author, you may leave a nice message in the beginning or insert a few extra pages with your own “cooking tips” and contact details.
Kitchen appliances and pans are also great new home gifts because they are used frequently. Think about a sandwich maker, toaster, juicer, crockpot, timer, and talking kitchen scale - you can't go wrong with these gifts.
You may say that plants and flowers should not be counted as unique gift ideas for REALTORS®, but every plant is unique, and so are our clients. Perennial plants are always a good idea. Whether you buy a tree or a box with a mix of bulbs, make sure they get in the ground, and maybe you can even help with planting. If your clients are really concerned about the environment and pay attention to what they eat, buy a fruit tree for their organic garden or a mix of herbs. Schedule a short “gardening” fiesta and involve the whole family! They will enjoy the experience for sure! Whenever they prune the tree or water the bulbs and herbs, they will remember you.
First moves are always stressful, so if you want to help your clients move smoothly into their new house, hire a handyman or a cleaning company to help them get everything in the right place as soon as possible. They will be so surprised to see that you’ve actually thought about it! A few hours with a professional organizer or with a certified childproofer will make the house look clean and safe in no time.
As soon as you start your career as a real estate agent, you have to make “your own” first-time home buyer gift basket. It doesn’t have to be a basket - it can be a bucket, a barrel, or a large eco shopping bag. Fill it with whatever you think a new homeowner might need: high-end cleaning products, cosmetics, fresheners, towels, and the like. Housewarming gifts like this one are inexpensive, but they get consumed quite fast. That’s why you need a long-term strategy to keep in touch with your clients.
A gift should be an experience. This is an excellent idea that one of the real estate agents listed on The Official Real Estate Agent Directory® has shared with us. Buy a few small gift cards from various retailers and put each one in an envelope and bind them together. Even gift cards from local restaurants would be a nice way to introduce them to the flavors of the city., Then, write small thank you cards and insert them with each gift card in an envelope. Finally, write down when each envelope should be opened. In this way, you prolong the life of your gift (unless they cheat). You can be as creative as you can with this idea. The point is that it doesn’t matter what you offer, but how you deliver the gift.
You read it right! What better way to make sure someone remembers you for an extended period of time than with a recurring gift? Pay for a magazine subscription or an online subscription. Or invent a “recurring gift” that you are willing to supply regularly for a certain period. For example, if you know your clients love coffee, purchase a good coffee machine and offer to provide the coffee they like for six months! If you know she loves to read you may send her one book every month. If the family has kids, you may send a new toy every month or on special dates such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. And with so many food delivery apps just a slide away, you may surprise your clients with food deliveries from time to time or even send them an interesting recipe and all the groceries needed for it.
What about anniversaries? We know that we often forget our own special dates, so why burden ourselves with more dates and anniversaries? Because very few people do so! Send a gift for every year they spend in the house they’ve purchased from you. You may find that it is best to send small gifts at different intervals - one month, three months, six months, and twelve months from the closing date. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for you! Try to follow up and maintain an amicable relationship with your clients.
You must have a plan for the future with all your clients. It doesn’t mean that you should visit them regularly to check how they are doing or call them for no reason. If you really have no gift idea in mind, it’s always thoughtful to send flowers or pot plants.
Do you think that presenting a bottle of champagne to your clients is outdated? Not at all! A bottle of fine champagne is still a great way to celebrate the closing of a real estate transaction. Go a step further and order personalized champagne flutes to go with the bottle or simply engrave their names and the date of closing on them. However, it might be more appropriate to celebrate at a local restaurant, so invite the new homeowners to dine at a nice restaurant in the neighborhood. They will not turn you down because nobody wants to cook on the first day when there are so many boxes to unpack. Dining out will allow them to discover the best places to eat around their house, so don’t miss the chance to try out different places together every time you meet before the closing day. Now is a good time to find stories of other family members' real estate transactions and even get a recommendation right on the spot.
Ideally, you don’t want to wait too long. You may opt for a dinner on the day of closing and a visit one week after the closing. The stress of moving should have dissipated by then, and your clients should be more settled in their new place. Offer the gifts yourself! Don’t mail them! Don’t send a colleague with them! Do your best to deliver the gift personally. Be professional from start to finish!
If you’re looking for unique gift ideas for REALTORS®, learn to listen to your clients. Use what you find to surprise them later! Your clients might have a prodigy so you might want to think of something special for their child. You may find that they are going to live with a loved one with low vision so you will want to think about gifts for visually impaired. You will find inspiration in the little details of their lives, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What do you think about housewarming gifts? What do you offer to your clients upon closing? We would love to find out so feel free to leave a comment!
Terrie O'Connor Realtors
Montville Township, NJ
Boonton Township, NJ
West Milford, NJ